A Celtic fan who sparked panic when he threw a flare-like device in Motherwell town centre has been banned from attending football matches for a year.
Christopher Callaghan (19) was making his way to the SPL game with Motherwell at Fir Park last December when he began shouting and challenging rival supporters to a fight.
He then brought out what is known as a thunderflash and threw it towards a crowd of Motherwell fans in Muir Street.
The pyrotechnic device landed near a police horse and exploded, causing the animal to become unsettled. The police rider then struggled to calm down his horse and get it back under control.
Callaghan, of Cambuslang, appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court and admitted culpably and recklessly throwing the pyrotechnic device at the horse which caused it to become unsettled and endanger the rider.
He also admitted shouting, swearing, gesticulating and challenging Motherwell supporters to fight.
Sheriff Alasdair MacFadyen ordered Callaghan to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and banned him from every football match in the country for a year.
The sheriff said: “It was extremely fortunate that the horse did not back up and place the rider in real danger. This was an incredibly dangerous thing to do and could have led to serious injury or worse.”
The Crown Office pledged to continue to crack down on fans who set off flares and similar devices.
A spokesman said: “Pyrotechnics of any kind can be very dangerous and setting them off in crowded areas such as this could have had devastating consequences.
“Working with police, we are determined to identify perpetrators and bring them to justice for reckless, irresponsible and dangerous behaviour of this nature.”